tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC October 5, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT
joining me today, msnbc contributor sam stein of the "the huffington post," former hillary clinton adviser and deputy new york city mayor howard wolfson, msnbc contributor and queen bee of thegrio.com joy reid and buzz feed editor in chief always busy ben smith. the first presidential debate that hour and a half spectacle of ob fewcation, confusion, triumph and exhaustion may be ancient history by the end of today, maybe. new numbers show the nation's unemployed rate dropped to 7.8%. the lowest number since president obama took office in 2009. while the economy added a relatively modest 114,000 jobs in september, new revisions show that july and august saw a combined increase of 86,000 more jobs than originally reported. needless to say, those numbers put a certain pep back in president obama's step. >> more americans entered the
work force, more people are getting jobs. now every month reminds us that we've still got too many of our friends and neighbors looking for work. today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. it's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now. >> needless to say this ray of economic sunshine is punting a dent in governor romney's plan to end the week on top. how is the republican nominee reacting spinning away saying quote -- >> but other obama critics, perhaps furious that good economic news might derail the romney swagger, instead they opted for conspiracy theories
regarding the satitions behind the unemployment numbers. former chairman and ceo of ge jack welch tweeted -- welch was backed in his theorizing by master of the outlandish alan west who wrote -- this is orwellian to say the least and representative of saul au lin ski tactics from the book rules for radicals" a must read for all who want to know how the left strategize. what's that you say, a strengthening work force and recovering economy or wellien indeed. >> they want to slow the economy before the election and if you don't believe that -- >> that was a year and a half ago. >> i have a bridge i want to sell you in oakland. that's what the republicans and
obstructionists in congress is about. >> joining us is cnbc's amman jabbers. you're the man with the answers. mitt romney is walking on stage and we'll have to go to him shortly but is it a good day for the american economy or not, tell us? >> it's definitely a good day. the auto sales number was good, consumer confidence up, but we had truthers, birthers and now we've got jobbers, these people who don't believe the government data here and to those people i would quote carl sagan and say extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and there is simply no evidence that anybody at bls did anything improper here. that number came down to 7.8% because of the household survey being very, very strong more than 800,000 jobs created in that survey. there's a technical reason for that i won't get into but that's what happened here. it's an unusual blip but it did happen and the data is real. >> to clarify, the bls is not a sort of partisan body. they sort of -- these are
statitions who work through multiple administrations? >> yeah. these are career people who are economists who do this for a living. they have very, very serious. i know these guys. they take this very seriously. they don't work for hilda solis inside the department of labor. they're carved out in a separate unit. but bls is sort of culturally its own entity and there is not a shred of evidence they've manipulated this number or did so this time. that would be a huge, huge scand physical it happened and those people who are saying that it happened, ought to come up with some evidence it did. if anybody has any evidence it did they ought to e-mail it to me because i'm a reporter and would love to do the story. >> candidate mitt romney is in southwest virginia at a coal country rally, expecting his first on camera comments after the september jobs report. let's take a listen. >> by the way, we have the governor here today but he's in florida campaigning for me, so thank you to bob mcdonnell for the work he's doing, a great governor. you may know that a couple of nights ago, we had a debate.
you may have got the chance to see that. and it was a good experience, i think for, for me, for the president, the people that watched, a debate of substance. we talked about the issues that america faces. i got the chance to ask the president some questions that i think people across the country have wanted to ask the president, such as why it was that when america was needing jobs so badly, he was pushing for obama care instead of working to get jobs to the american people. got the chance to ask him why there's still 23 million americans out of work or stopped looking for work struggling to find good full-time jobs. i got the chance to ask him why it is the middle class is so buried in this country, incomes have gone down, prices of gasoline have doubled. prices of food and clothinging and everything else you buy has gone up. people in the middle class have been squeezed, buried as the vice president said.
got the chance to talk about that. got the chance to ask him why he's cutting $716 billion from medicare. that's not the right thing to do to pay for obama care. also got to point out he's in favor of a tax plan that will kill 700,000 jobs. so he had the chance to answer those questions or not answer them as the case may be, but then -- i think even more important was the chance to talk about where we're going in the future and what he would do and i'd do and what he described was n my view, a reiteration of the status quo. he's going to keep doing the things he's done in the past, have a stimulus if he can, hire more government workers if he can, he's going to pick winners and losers like solyndra, tesla. a friend of mine said he doesn't like picking winners and losers, he likes picking losers. and so -- and, of course, he's in favor of higher taxes. yesterday the vice president blurted out the truth. he said, in fact, they do want
to raise taxes a trillion dollars. i don't want to raise taxes on any americans because i want to create good jobs in america. now i take america in a very different direction. first of all, i want to make sure that our policies encourage job growth. i have five things i'll do, you've heard me describe them time and again, five things i'll do to get jobs growing in this country and growing right here in this part of virginia as well because number one on my list is to take full advantage of all our energy resources, oil, our coal, gas, nuclear, renewables. and i know you care a lot more about coal than the other ones i mentioned so let me remind you when the president was running for office, he said that if you built a new coal fired plant, why you go bankrupt. and the head of the epa has also said that regulations on burning coal are now so stringent it's
virtually impossible to build a new coal fired plant. i don't believe in putting our coal under the ground forever. i believe we should take advantage of it, put american workers back to work and use a resource abundant and cheap and can be burned in a clean way. and by the way i also believe in oil and gas. i believe we should develop our resources. i believe within eight years america, north america rather should be energy independent and that requires all those sources of energy. and that will keep the price at the pump moderated, it will keep the price of electricity moderated and mean a lot of good jobs for americans. it's been calculated if we're really serious about energy, really take advantage of the energy resources we have, that you're going to create some 3.5 to 4 million jobs. i know right now you're thinking about one job, your job, i'm thinking about your job as well, person by person, every american
deserves a good job, people are hard working right here in this community. i want to make sure your jobs stay here, grow here and provide a bright future for you and your family. >> that was mitt romney speaking to an enthused crowd in afterington, virginia. howard wolfson, a lot of the points we heard echoing a lot of the points we heard on the first debate night. not really mentioning the unemployment numbers perhaps not surprisingly. >> look, best night of the campaign for him in a long time was debate night. it's not surprising that he would want to keep going back to that. obviously gets a good reaction. from his crowd. republicans are energized for the first time in a while. >> don't the unemployment rate being below 8% sort of ease or even negate some of the bad
stuff that rubbed off on the president wednesday night? >> we should be skeptical about amman jabbers. i think he's the on the conspiracy theory. >> can't hear all the untoward things we're saying. >> still there? >> what is bls? bureau of labor statistics. we've had good news for a couple weeks now, you've seen economic confidence grow, see people seem more optimistic about the way the economy is going. part had to do with bill clinton but part was structural changes in the economy and i think when that's happening and those trends are going in the right direction, it benefits the president and yes, a lot of people watched the debate on wednesday night, i think it was well more than 60 million, maybe close to 70 million and that obviously hurt the president. but i think if you look at the underlying points of the election, the economy has always been the predominant issue and if it's going in the right direction this is great for
that. >> i just have always thought the way we look at the unemployment number was kind of wrong, right? we look at it the way we look at national polls versus state polls. if you've gone inside the unemployment numbers and trends among key demographic groups that the president has heeded the numbers have been getting better for a long time. look at unemployment for white women it's been around 6%, little above 6% for months. even before they revised the economic data and even in today's number, college educated workers, you know, you're talking about what we consider full employment, 4% unemployment rate. if you look at those demographics or state by state, unemployment trends have been doing this for a while. this is not a surprise. >> the timing is good for the president. >> absolutely. >> state by state numbers two weeks which is going to be make or break times in terms of the election. >> lot of key states like in ohio have been better for a while. the next jobs report is the friday before the election. >> all those days of the week. >> so dnds and that will be a
bill report. usually the white house says let's not pay too much attention to, you know, one month statistics there's lots of noise. look at this. >> david plouffe was on msnbc saying today is not a day for politics. >> exactly. >> amman, bring you back in here. amman, i'm sure you're dusting off your -- the latest copy of your saul alinsky theology you're hiding behind your back. i do want to if i can take a moment to be a good morningy gust, this is the job of any president, but the long-term, structural unemployment numbers have not moved, 40% of the unemployed, i can't remember, 4.1 million people, i don't have the number with me, 4.8 million people, that is a staggering number and look, that is something that has dire repercussions for the american economy in the long term. >> longer you're out of work the harder it is to get a job. so this was a good jobs report.
some of the internals are good, hours worked are up, pay is up, but 114,000 nonfarm payroll jobs that were created is good, but not spectacular. people shouldn't get carried away. this is a improving economy, but slowly improving economy. we came close to hitting stall speed a couple times this year. this is a long slog to get out of this. for those people who have been so destroyed by this economy, earnings have plummeted, family members out of work, supporting family members, it's going to be a long time for them to get back on their feet, at this rate going to take years, years to get back to the pre-2008 levels. and that's just really tragic for a lot of americans. we shouldn't lose sight of that. >> we should not indeed. howard, we have to come back to you in the next block because amman has to go back to the library to return his later saul alinsky books. they're overdue. thanks to amman, the man with
all the answers. after the break, president obama gets his game face back following wednesday's debate telling voters in denver yesterday about the real mitt romney. >> the real mitt romney has been running around the country for the last year, promising $5 trillion in tax cuts to favor the wealthy, the fellow on stage last night said, he didn't know anything about that. the real mitt romney said we don't need any more teachers in our classrooms, but -- don't boo. vote. >> but has the obama campaign voted on how to portray the republican nominee? we will return to the paradox of the mittens when obama's super pac chief bill burton joins the package, next on "now." ♪
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we all know this is a deeply divided nation, or at least it was, until last night when something happened that brought all americans together in agreement. >> president obama took a shellacking. >> he was not properly prepared for this. >> the president didn't bring his a-game. >> he was just so dull. >> he looked tired to me. >> romney won hands down. >> he was very, very bad last night. >> there is no red america, there is no play america, there is only the america that can't believe how bad this guy did in the debate! >> he may have been listless on the debate stage wednesday night, but ever since then president obama's been hammering mitt romney for being a real slim shady. >> now my opponent you know has been trying to do a two-step and
reposition and got to gshs got an extreme make-over. but -- but the bottom line is, his underlying philosophy is the top down economics that we've seen before. >> chicago's message to american voters, don't be fooled. >> this was the first chance for the president to see how governor romney operates in these debates firsthand and you have to make some adjustments for the fact that he is kind of a serial evader, a sort of artful dodger. >> and while obama was reluctant to take the fight to romney in front of 67 million people two nights ago -- >> right now you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas.
i think most americans would say that doesn't make sense. >> jim, let's -- we've gone on a lot of topics there. it's going to take a minute to go from medicaid -- >> go ahead. >> you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas? i've been in business for 25 years. i have no idea what you're talking about. i maybe need to get a new accountant but the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is not the case. >> on the stump yesterday in front of a crowd of 30,000 people in madison, obama seemed to have his swagger back. >> the guy on stage last night, he said, he'd never heard of tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. never heard of them. and he said, if that's true, he must need a new accountant. so now we know for sure that wasn't the real mitt romney because the real mitt romney is doing just fine with the accountant that he already has. >> not wasting time, his campaign has doubled down with a new ad calling mitt's last-minute moderate make-over an extreme make-over into
question. >> why won't romney level with us about his tax plan? according to experts he would have to raise taxes on the middle class or increase the deficit to pay for it. if we can't trust him here, how can we ever trust him here? >> joining the panel now, from obama's super pac priorities usa action, the money boo boo of the democratic party, former white house deputy press secretary bill burton. >> you could try senior strategist. >> we could but that would be so much less emasculating. anyway. bill, you know we're happy to have you on this program. >> glad to be here. >> let's talk a little bit about the president and sort of the strategy he is taking in the recent 24 hours. we know a couple months ago there was a sort of -- there was forking path. the president could characterize mitt romney as either a severe conservative or a flip flopper. it seems like in the last couple months they were straight ahead on the course of severe conservative. mitt romney was doing a lot of favors in terms of painting that
picture. after the debates seems like we're back to this flip flopper thing and i will call to your attention "the new york times" saying, mr. obama's campaign made an early decision to campaign against mr. romney as a conservative. can you have it both ways? >> well, i actually think that the conversation hasn't happened on a left/right axis, necessarily. certainly mitt romney is far to the right on things like women's issues, on choice, on judge, on all those things, but i think the conversation has been more about is he for the top over the folks who are in the middle and at the bottom. if you look at what he did at the debate, he tried to, you know, wiggle his way out of being this guy who is just for the top, this plutocrat that american people think he is basically and that he is, and the truth of the matter is that his position, the things that he
has espoused on the campaign trail that he used to get through the republican primary, are positions that are very focused on the top and it looks like what the campaign is doing and what the press is doing is pointing out mitt romney is not telling the truth about the positions he has. >> yeah. but that's presuming he's going to stay on one message or the other. the most shocking thing about the debate, you're not going to do the 20% across the board tax cut, now you like certain parts of the obama care, but it muddles the president's tactics in terms on hammering him on things if those are things that mitt romney is not proposing. >> that supposes the american people haven't been paying attention to this this point. look inside these polls, mitt romney is fundamentally not credible on these issues with a large chunk of voters in ohio, virginia, and places there's been conversation already about who mitt romney is where he wants to take this country. >> howard, that does beg the fundamental question as, you know, have -- has the work of the obama campaign been effective, the impression about
mitt romney being a plutocrat or not caring about the country been cemented enough that the debate performance on wednesday has no measurable effect and the economic numbers don't make a difference eater? >> this was mr. romney's long awaited etch a sketch moment at the debate. they decided he was going to pivot from this severe conservative he had been running as during the primary into a more moderate version of his former self and it's clearly incumbent on the obama campaign to keep him in the box they've placed him in, he's too conservative, extreme, out of touch with the american people. i think clearly president obama missed the opportunity to do that during the debate. he kind of let mr. romney climb out of that kind of space that they had put him in, but there will be many other opportunities as we see the president's back strong on the stump hammering romney. there will be another debate. we forget it's a long time ago, mondale wins the first debate
against reagan, reagan comes back and cleans his clock in the second one. john kerry in 2004, you remember, won the first debate, against george bush. george bush similarly seemed very unhappy to be there as the president. bush comes back in the second one and wins, goes on to win. so lots of opportunity for the president to come back. but clearly let romney back into this. >> i guess, sam, how far is mitt going to go towards the middle? i mean, bill brings up the question of reproductive rights, the obama care question is certainly still, you know, how much is mitt romney going to embrace massachusetts, his legacy there, in the coming weeks? it's a sharp pivot. >> wasn't just during the debate. he was on fox news saying his 47% comments were completely wrong after doing a press conference the night after saying he stood by the basic premise of it. they are pivoting, the extent to which it goes i have no idea. the extent to which he said he never wrote that op-ed never go
bankrupt we'll have the full turn there. to get back to the first turn, i don't think their contradictory attacks by the obama campaign -- it's not that they're painting him as a flip flopper versus an always severe politician. what they're saying is he's lying to you about his conservativism in the debate and that's a distinction between a flip flopper. >> you can be all things to all people in terms of this. >> i guess. >> bill, i have to ask you about the money question. >> okay. >> you know, and were you dismayed when mauer tweeted his disdain for the president's performance? i know you guys -- the fund-raising numbers have been strong of late. tell us your reaction? >> well, so many tweets during the debate. i mean who could keep up. >> there were many tweets. i speak of the tweet that said, i can't believe i'm saying this, but obama looks like he does need a teleprompter, that was the bill maher tweet around the internet. >> there was more than one democrat who didn't have just positive things to say about
what happened to that debate and, you know, look, i was -- >> you might have been among them. >> i was not. i was with charlie spooes, the guys who runs restore our future yesterday and he said that yesterday was actually their biggest fund-raising day they've had. they've raised about $100 million so far. to have a day when it's the most you've ever done, after clearly having some problems with their money for a little while, shows if there's any practical impact to this debate the people who support mitt romney, feel better about him than they did before. so i think you'll see some uptick in the polls as he consolidates more republicans, see more money coming their way. democrats are energized and before this moment, democrats felt like yes, the president has advantage in a bunch of these key swing states but time to close the deal and that's why i think a lot more money has come our way, because donors see the danger in mitt romney becoming president and doing the things that he says he's going to do on choice, on judges, on the economy. >> and the days since the debate, i think there's been
obviously a lot of frustration on the left. has that translated into more donations for priorities usa action. >> we've done well over the last couple days. but we've stayed on this trajectory up that we were already on, which is we're getting close to the election, getting to the final days when people can make a big investment and make a real difference in this race and so people are really starting to step up and engage here. >> we will be talking to you more, my friend, and perhaps i will have maybe not as a cheeky of an introductory by line. >> i won't count on it. >> i don't know if you saw this too, but the president attacked mitt romney on big bird. that wasn't in the montage. >> the big bird thing is definitely something he's not going to let go. we're waiting for big bird himself to show up at one of the president's rallies. anyway. >> costs a lot to license that. >> it does. coming up trickle down or trick? in describing president obama's vision of government, governor romney adopts a weird old rhetorical flourish. >> mr. and mrs. america when you hear him say we're going to tax
only the rich, watch your wallet. because his figures don't add up and he's going to sock it right to the middle class taxpayer and lower if he's going to pay for all the spending programs he proposed. we have a big difference on this trickle down theory. i do not want any more trickle down government. >> the trickle down theory didn't quite work out for president h.w. bush, but will it be an effective tool for mitt romney? more to the point, what does trickle down government even mean? we will investigate ahead. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot?
check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic. conventional wisdom says governor romney exceeded expectations and channeled a sensibility during wednesday night's debate. was he channeling a certain two term passionate conservative, possibly, but decidedly not this version. >> i wish they weren't called the bush tax cuts. they were called somebody else's tax cuts probably less likely to
be raised. >> some other body's tax cuts. we'll examine how romney may have found his inner "w" ahead on now. [ male announcer ] when these come together, and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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the campaign and how i'm going to get the 51 or a 52% i need. >> so, was actually all just a lot of hull la ba lu about electoral math, the quote i'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility was mere lay comment on process. romney went on to say that video represented nothing new. >> you're coming to my fund-raisers and this is the same message i give to people which is we have a very different approach, the president and i, between a government dominated society and a society driven by free people pursuing their dreams. >> but by last night, romney had a completely different take on his own position. he acknowledged that writing off half of the country as government moochers including students, elderly and military veteran,sin veterans was wrong. >> clearly in a campaign with hundreds, if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right. in this case i said something that's just completely wrong. and i absolutely believe,
however, that my life has shown that i care about 100%. >> so there you go. it was just a slip of the tongue, not a statement on process or a hum drum analysis of electoral math or even, perhaps, a window into mitt romney's real world view regarding the takers and the makers. it was merely an accident. a natural result of giving too many speeches on the trail. thank goodness we finally have clarity. ben smith, interesting, mitt romney clearly that was his answer if it came up during the debate and he wasn't asked about the 47% comments by the president or the president didn't bring it up. fox news did. the question is, is this thing done? are we done hearing about the 47% thing? did obama lose the most potent weapon in his arsenal? >> of course, not. i'm sure the president's campaign will find a way to bring it back in. imagine if that had been the answer he had given at the press conference that night and also imagine if this debate mitt romney had been the guy running since the spring if this pivot had come earlier, if the conservative movement allowed him to, i think a lot of people around him people he's surrounded by in boston are not
hard right conservatives, they're moderates who are nervous about the conservative wing. this new character pivoting in october, very, very late in the race, to do this thing, but it's pretty striking. >> looks like -- doesn't it look like the conservative movement is allowing him to move. i've heard nothing but cheers about how he performed in his debate. >> they would rather him be winning than losing. >> takes a near-death experience. >> maybe the post mortem will be like they had to -- turns out the conservatives would have been find with it. >> maybe, except i don't think -- first of all mitt romney talking about preexisting coverage, right? parsing parts of obama care and saying these aren't bad and belong in mine. eric fernstein came out and said whoa whoa whoa, less anybody get confused mitt romney's plan for covering those with preexisting conditions is not the same as obama's it's already what's mandated by law, which is again reassuring the rest of the conservative base, the guys we still got you. >> you make the right point.
i cannot imagine that mitt romney -- mitt romney is going to get up in front of the big crowds of conservative base supporters and say remember the debate, how great i did, i guarantee he won't repeat a policy idea from that debate in front of those crowds. they are not going to cheer for the newly moderate mitt positions. he can be eraser man all he wants and scrub away -- >> if he moves up in the polls i think they will cheer. >> i think they care -- if it gets him percentage points in the polls i think he will. >> there are debates coming up. he can't skate by on talking points in front of rallies of his own supporters, he's going to get pressed on this stomach presumablybly in the next tw debates and will have to enunciate some details of what he does embrace in terms of obama care. >> compassion or conservative won two elections in this country, severely conservative was tanking in this election. so this was move they had to make if they wanted to be competitive in the election, whether as ben asks it was too
late, whether we wiit will seem inauthentic we'll see, going the path they were going was not working. they said they were going to do it, maybe it's come too late but clearly had to happen. >> what's the lesson for the conservative movement that has been waiting so long, waiting a generation to have their ideas lit gaited and put forth in a robust way on the public stage, is the answer now for moderate republicans to say once again you guys were wrong, we're putting you aside again, but we still want you to get out and work and get us elected? >> that's american politics for you. look at the left wing of the democratic party the last four years, conservatives under george w. bush, the base always has their heart broken. >> i don't necessarily dispute that. why has the romney campaign spent so much time trying to shore up that. >> i think romney had a unique disadvantage heading into the election he was always distrussed by the base of his party and he felt like he had to shore up that support before he could move on. with the left in obama, i mean they made a calculated gamble
too they could not do some of the priorities whether on the -- >> after the election, not before. he's doing it before the election. >> but the gamble was that they would come back home, come re-election, i think by and large you're seeing that. >> we'll see. >> i have to tell you, i have never seen a political candidate repudiate their own base before election day. i understand once people get elected to the presidency different things present themselves and people get disappointed but before the election. i've never seen that. >> ask sister soldier about that, 1992, bill clinton decided to sort of present himself as a different sort of democrat and took on some of the base of his own party. >> he took on one party but he didn't tell african-americans before i get into the white house i'm pushing all of you aside. his moment was against a particular ideology with african-americans. he didn't spurn african-americans outright. >> of course not. >> is there such a thing as half etch a sketching where he get a vague outline of the old drawing and draw over the new one? because maybe that's -- >> i think romney will have two
different messages down towards the end, one for the debate crowd, the 70 million plus and the other for when he's in, you know, southwest virginia in coal mining country. >> where presumably there are no video cameras. >> after the break he's back, possibly. is the governor summoning the compassionate conservatism of george w. bush? chris hayes gives us the how and why next. ♪
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compassionate conservatism. >> we have to work on a collaborative basis not because we're going to compromise our principle, but because there's common ground and the challenges america faces right now, look, the reason i'm in this race, is there are people that are really hurting today in this country. >> here to unpack that now is msnbc's chris hayes, host of "up with chris hayes" here for a segment we like to call up now. chris, we talked about -- >> everyone at home get that. >> up now. >> howard was talking about compassionate conservatism as we went to break. your thesis on this? >> russ dellfit at the times wrote a smart blog post. if you look at how george w. bush ran in 2000 he had all this baggage, a plutocrat, the son of a president, out of -- he could very easily be caricatured as an out of touch person. very early on they picked a few issues, education was one of them, and a few linguistic
troeps they would repeat to signal to voters i am not an out of touch plutocrat. mitt romney because he had to worry about shoring up his base through the duration of the primary and the right got trapped in its rhetoric never did that. instead of playing against type he played to type. this we built this stuff, just spit on you -- all the -- all the we built this stuff you saw at the convention, was him embracing the idea of himself as this kind of titanic job creator figure as opposed to playing against. the first time we've seen him try to try to play against type was in the debate last night when he said i'm in the race because people are hurting. he started running for president like 90 years ago -- >> exactly. >> the reason he doesn't play against type because he's not a good politician. when he talks about football it's cringe worthy to hear him talk about football where george bush was good about talking sports. >> had more facility but it was
strategic. they could have picked an issue to say we're going to get to the left on this issue. >> the heart, the heart feel, you know, even sin tactically mitt romney sounds like he's a character from either the "wizard of oz" or "leave it to beaver," why? i don't know why. you almost expect the sentence to end with auntie m. he could channel this emotional core. >> two aspects, the style and performance of compassion and then a choice of how do you defend your policies. what we saw him unveil in defense of the tax cuts on wednesday night was identical to the bush defense of the tax cuts which gave paul krugman an aneurysm writing two clumolumns week saying this is bs. george bush would say are you kidding? cut taxes for the wealthy that's not what i'm interested in doing. >> sort of the explanation of mitt romney is more what andrew sullivan has said, that he's
just a salesman. so if he's in front of audience a, the sell is this. if he's in front of audience b, the sell is that and he's doing marketing proposals for whatever audience is in front of them because the real mitt romney is just a businessman and willing to sell the product to whoever it is, whether left, right, thought of being an ultraliberal would get him to be president he would say that. i just need the 51% i need, get me what i need. >> now he cares about the 100% and channeling the specter of h.w. bush and adopting the trickle down government line which to me, howard, you can explain this to everybody, to me that was do i end up with the department of homeland security in my spare bedroom? what does trickle down government mean and isn't this just the right trying to take a weakness the notion that the failed theory of trickle down economics and sort of shove it on to the left? >> it's the conservative critique that progressives and democrats use government as a means to create jobs, they spend money on government and create government created jobs through federal expenditures. that's their argument.
>> and -- i don't understand the physical metaphor. the vision is gray suited bureaucrats dripping out of a faucet. >> but weird when, you know, half of the republican party or more than half is saying don't cut defense because it's going to cost us so many jobs. >> and that is their -- right. defense is spending of 4% of gdp -- >> trickle down government would be wars, right? >> we have to leave it there, unfortunately, my friend, but you are going to be continuing this conversation. >> oh, yeah. tomorrow on up a.m. we have great sound putting george w. bush and mitt romney side by side to see how much they're taking -- they're playbook correctly from him. >> i never get tired of george w. bush clips. >> we will be practicing our love tomorrow. deep cut. >> oh. practicing our love. yeah. >> coming up, the air up there, former vice president al gore comes up with a unique excuse
regarding president obama's debate performance. we will ask our debate panel for their best debate whoppers, that is next. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions
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obama arrived in denver at 2:00 p.m. today. just a few hours before the debate started. romney did his debate prep in denver. when you go to 5,000 feet. >> exactly. >> and you only have a few hours to adjust. >> that's interesting. >> i don't know. >> that just happened. that was al gore on current tv wednesday explaining the president's poor debate performance. what's your best excuse for the president? what do you make of that? quickly, everyone. sam stein? >> i don't even know. i don't know where to start. that doesn't make sense. i mean it makes some sense. makes no sense. i can better explain mitt romney's good debate programs. he had the cheesecake factory.
>> nothing empowers like carbs and sugar. >> romney was at chipotle the 24 hours before and explains his great performance. >> indeed. >> booked debate and agreed to it not realizing it was 20th anniversary, not happy wife. >> my favorite that performed up on twitter the performance enhancing drugs that romney was huffing from the handkerchief. >> always an excuse for everything. thanks again to sam, howard, joy and ben. i'll see you back here monday at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when joined by richard wolffe, nick confess sorry and bridget moynihan. find us at facebook.com/now with alex. andrea mitchell reports is next. [ female announcer ] ready for a taste of what's hot?
check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine. creamy spinach artichoke dip, crispy garlic chicken spring rolls. they're this season's must-have accessory. lean cuisine. be culinary chic. right now on "andrea mitchell reports" -- the 7.8% solution, the white house finally breaks the magic 8% barrier. is an economicif